Cattle Show

The cows, goats and bulls are cleaned and groomed and the herdsmen put on their traditional feast day costumes. With singing, yodeling and the sound of cowbells, they arrive in the morning from everywhere passing through a «triumphal arch» decorated with pine branches and flowers on their way to the Brauereiplatz in Appenzell. On the first Tuesday of October, they show off their breeding achievements.

The livestock are tied to long posts and arranged according to age and gender. The bodies of the animals steam in the cool morning air and here and there a yapping Appenzeller mountain dog brings a confused cow back to its senses. Where necessary, the dirty flanks and tails of the cows are quickly rubbed down with straw or washed with a sponge.

A strict panel of experts assesses the cows, cattle and bulls according to looks and performance. The animals are then again tied to the posts in order of their ranking. This lasts into the afternoon. Crowns of paper flowers are tied around the horns of the best and prettiest animals. In earlier times these were made in convents. The heavy cowbells and «Fahreimers» (richly painted wooden pails) of the herdsmen are exhibited on wooden trestles. There is a great deal of singing on this day and the youngsters are allowed to smoke with impunity.

The «Abloo» (departure) at teatime is an exciting show. Every few minutes a herd of cattle leaves the showground to the ringing sound of cowbells and exuberant yodeling. In the evening the cattle owners and herdsmen meet up again for the traditional show event in the Hotel Säntis at the Landsgemeindeplatz. The awards for looks and performance are then handed out in a traditional ceremony. The Cattle Show is an important day of the year for cattle breeders and their families.

The Appenzeller Cattle Show has been held since the middle of the 19th century and the Innerrhoden «exclave» Oberegg holds its own show. In contrast to Innerrhoden, the cattle shows in Ausserrhoden take place in the middle of September in the separate villages.

The day after the Appenzeller Cattle Show, further visitors are attracted by the Goat Show, which follows the same pattern and is held at the same venue.


Appenzell and Oberegg


Appenzell: first Tuesday in October; exception 2024: 8 October 2024
Oberegg: last Saturday in September; 28 September 2024